The defending ISL champions Bengaluru FC will be eager to conclude their remaining two games with nothing less but a win before the knockouts in order to gain some needed momentum and confidence. Bengaluru is currently 3rd on the table with 29 points, while being four points behind second-placed ATK and seven points behind FC Goa who reside at the top.
Bengaluru FC’s next opponents will be the Kerala Blasters who have had an underwhelming campaign. The Blasters are 8th in the league with 15 points and have zero chances of making it to the playoffs this year. With the game being considered as a dead rubber, it will be interesting to see the approach of both sides.
Date- Saturday, February 15
Kick-Off- 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,
The Blasters should go with a similar eleven that squared off in the goalless draw against NorthEast United. Bartholomew Ogbeche should be in charge of the attack, while Sahal Abdul Samad, Holicharan Nazaray and Sergio Cidoncha could form the midfield. Jessel Carneiro, Vlatko Drobarov and Gianni Zuiverloon are likely to compile the defensive backline.
Jamaican international Kevaughn Frater has been signed by Bengaluru on a short-term deal for the remainder of the games. The centre-forward comes from the American USL Championship side New Mexico United and could finally share the burden of scoring goals alongside Sunil Chhetri. Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu and Udanta Singh will be expected to fill in at the advanced roles. Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran and Juanan Gonzelez would be forming the defence.
Kerala Blasters FC- Bilal Khan (GK), Lalruatthara, Gianni Zuiverloon, Vlatko Drobarov, Jessel Carneiro, Seityasen Singh, Moustapha Gning, Sergio Cidoncha, Holicharan Narzary, Sahal Abdul Samad, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Bengaluru FC- Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juanan Gonzalez, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Erik Paartalu, Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Deshorn Brown
Bartholomew Ogbeche has been one of the standouts for Kerala Blasters. Ogbeche has 11 goals, an assist and has completed 262 passes from 14 games this season.
Club captain, Sunil Chhetri has been pivotal on the forward line for Bengaluru FC. Chhetri has nine goals and has completed 442 passes for his side from 15 games this season.
Jessel Carneiro has been one of the mainstays in defence as well as in attack for Kerala Blasters. Carneiro has four assists and has completed 656 passes in 16 appearances this season.
Erik Paartalu has been a central figure in Bengaluru FC’s midfield. Paartalu has two goals, five assists and has completed 567 passes from 13 games this season.
Bengaluru FC should be able to bag the win here.
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